Who Is My Neighbor? An Earth Day Sermon on Mark 12:28-31

  Who is my neighbor? Cynthia Moe-Lobeda tells a number of life stories in her book, Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation, and I have drawn from a few of them – and heavily from her book as a whole – for this sermon. One of the stories she tells is of Ravi Chandekar,…

Non-Violent Resistance – a Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Harold Porter

Yesterday I got a break from preaching as we welcomed to our pulpit the Pastor Emeritus, the Rev. Dr. Harold (Hal) Porter. He was instrumental in creating the open communion table policy that has been central to the ministry of our congregation, and urging Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA) on to…

The Maladjustment of Resurrection – an Easter Sermon on Mark 16:1-8

Listen to Heidi Middendorf sing “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth:”   Listen to the sermon here:   Easter has been the biggest holiday in the Christian church for centuries. It’s when we celebrate the culmination of Jesus’ story in the Gospels, when it turns out that even death did not have the last say….

Humility – a Palm Sunday sermon on Mark 11:1-11

  When the first Harry Potter novel came out in 1997, I was already an adult. I got Potter fever just like everyone else I knew, and tore through the books and then the movies. However, as the series got darker and more dangerous, especially when it culminated in a massive battle between Voldemort’s army…

Sacrifice – a sermon on John 12:20-33

This week’s sermon is a little out of the ordinary for me – more of a brief lecture on atonement theories than a sermon. So, instead of my usual manuscript, below you will find more of a detailed outline. A few of the online resources I used are linked at the bottom, and I’ll be…

This week I got the pleasure of singing with the choir on “You Will Be Found” from the soundtrack of Dear Evan Hansen. You can listen to it here:   Listen to the sermon audio here, or read (approximately) the manuscript below:   One of the most familiar verses in the entire Bible is in…

Disruption – a sermon on John 2:13-22

Check out the MAPC choir this week singing “The Lamentation of Jeremiah:”   Listen to the sermon here, or read the (approximate) manuscript below:   If you ask people who regularly attend church services why they go, in my completely unscientific and purely anecdotal experience, a lot of them will tell you that they find…

Self-Denial – A Sermon on Mark 8:31-38

Bonus audio track of our choir singing “From the Ashes of Dead Stars:”   And the sermon audio here (don’t mind the blips from congregational discussion):   I spent all week asking people about self-denial, and I got all kinds of answers. The most popular answers were mentions of food and diets. Apparently when we…

Sermons from FRC Schenectady

These are some past sermons preached in my last call. I’m posting them here to keep track of them, while eliminating the separate “Sermon” tab on my website to make room for other things. “Claiming the Reign of Christ in Chaotic Times,” a sermon from Colossians 1:11-20, preached Nov. 20, 2016 at First Reformed Church…

Resistance and Maladjustment – a sermon on Mark 1:9-15

  In December of 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech at Western Michigan University that is considerably less well-known than “I Have a Dream” or some of his other remarkable public addresses. In it he says, “There are certain technical words within every academic discipline that soon become stereotypes and cliches. Modern psychology…

Sparkly Jesus and the Unexpected Visitors – a sermon on Mark 9:2-9

  This passage from the gospel of Mark, called the transfiguration, is a story that has been puzzling pastors and theological scholars for centuries. It’s a bizarre tale. But I’m delighted to tell you that I’ve finally found an explanation, thanks to the Super Bowl. It’s a Tide commercial! Obviously, I jest, and I do…